Light painting is one of those areas of photography that keeps surprising me. There’s always new tools and new techniques coming out that that make me wish I had the time or patience to learn how to do it myself. But for those that work at it, it looks well worth the effort, as these images from Jason D. Page go to show.
Jason has developed a technique using the Light Whip to make “ghosts”. Yes, that’s right, ghosts. They look pretty awesome, and he’s put together a tutorial showing you how he makes them so that you can have a go for yourself.
It’s a little bit creepy looking, but very cool indeed. To make the images, Jason uses a Canon 6D Mark II with a Rokinon (Samyang) 14mm f/2.8 lens. He shoots at a low ISO100 at f/5.6 using bulb mode. Bulb mode allows Jason to control the shutter speed using an external intervalometer. You’ll also want to set the camera on a tripod.
In the video, Jason walks us through how the “ghosts” are made in the light, so we can see what he’s doing. And it’s a pretty simple technique that only takes a few seconds. Open up the shutter, wave the whip about while raising it upwards, and then wrap it to form the shape of the head.
It looks a little silly, but the result’s pretty cool. You can even burn a ghostly image of your face into the shot if you plan it properly.
The final touch to the image, which you can see above, is the ghost’s “soul”, which is made by pointing a flashlight with the hood kit straight at the camera to produce the starry flare. While it might not look that interesting in the blackness of a darkened studio, making these on location creates some pretty amazing results.
While a simple and very effective technique, I still think I’ll leave it up to others to create these. I know I’ll never be happy with what I make, because I never am when I’ve tried light painting, and I’ll just get frustrated. But there’s no reason why I can’t enjoy the light paintings of others, especially when they do it this well.